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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Pathways, Student Trainee (Biological Sciences), ZT-0499-2 (PATH)
Open Period:
04/24/2020 - 05/07/2020


ZT - 0499BiolSc 2
USD $38,340 - USD $68,375
Work Schedule:
Full-time -
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
Ann Arbor, MI, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Rochelle Wright


Hiring Path:
• Students
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
Students who have been accepted for enrollment or are currently enrolled in an accredited educational institution in good academic standing. All applicants must demonstrate proof of enrollment for the Fall of 2020. Good academic standing is determined by the educational institution, but is typically a Grade Point Average of a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants must provide proof of current enrollment in school or documentation indicating acceptance in an accredited educational institution.
Security Clearance Required:
Appointment Type
Internships (Student)
Marketing Statement:

NOAA is seeking bright, innovative, results-oriented students who are pursuing a degree or certificate program in an accredited educational institution for our Intern Program.  The NOAA Pathways Internship Program targets students accepted for enrollment or currently enrolled in a degree-seeking or Certificate program at least on a half-time basis. (Applicants who do not meet the definition of student by the closing date of the announcement will not be considered).

More information on the Pathways Programs for students and Recent Graduates can be found at:


This position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) with one vacancy in Ann Arbor, MI.

Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

Up to 15% domestic travel may be required for this position.


As a Student Trainee (Biological Sciences), you will perform the following duties:

  • Assist senior staff, analytical staff, and other staff as necessary with tasks to include the collection and recording of field samples/observations from the Great Lakes that include the following categories: nutrients, eDNA and ‘omics, zooplankton and larval fishes, phytoplankton, chlorophyll and other algal pigments, and optical properties and other physical variables.

  • Operate various types of laboratory equipment and computer software as found in a modern limnological or oceanographic laboratory supporting studies of traditional and molecular ecology and environmental chemistry.

  • Compile, summarize, and provide gathered data into reports for higher-grade biologists.

  • Execute administrative details of a wide variety of limited biological science projects.

  • Provide assistance in planning, monitoring, and conducting segments of higher-grade biological science work.

This position is in the bargaining unit.

Qualifications and Evaluations


This position requires a Low Risk Security Clearance.


Intern and Interns NTE must:

  • Be accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree or certificate in a qualifying educational institution on a half-time to full-time basis (as determined by the educational institution);

  • Meet the definition of a student throughout the duration of their appointments;

  • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the agency's Participant Agreement with the Intern;

  • Meet the qualification standards (e.g., series and grade) for position; and

  • Must be at least 16 years of age at the time of appointment.

Applicants must demonstrate proof of enrollment for the Fall of 2020, by submitting an official proof of enrollment letter from a qualifying educational institution or a transcript indicating courses to be taken in the Fall of 2020. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

This position is being recruited with an opportunity for non-competitive conversion eligibility to a permanent OR term position upon completion of all program requirements. Conversion is not mandatory nor guaranteed (see Other Information).

This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band.

The ZT-2 is equivalent to the GS-05/06/07/08. However, this position is being advertised equivalent to the GS-05.


This vacancy may be used to fill other Student Trainee (Biological Sciences), ZT-0499-2 positions throughout NOAA. The position must be alike (e.g.: the same qualifications and eligibility requirements as indicated in this vacancy announcement).

Applicants must meet ALL application requirements, to include a complete online resume, by 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

Key Requirements:
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Must sign a Pathways Programs Participant Agreement.
  • A minimum one year trial period will be required.
  • Education Requirements:

    Definition of Student: Student is defined as an individual accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, or certificate) in a qualifying academic institution, on a half or full-time basis.  Half-time is defined by the educational institution in which the student is enrolled.  Students do not have to be in actual physical attendance in school, online curriculums are acceptable as long as the school is accredited by the Department of Education.

    Proof of Enrollment:  NOAA will use applicant's transcript as proof of enrollment in the identified college/university provided it demonstrates definition of eligible student. A letter from an educational institution indicating acceptance may be used as proof of enrollment for those students who are continuing studies at a new college or university or for those student whose transcripts do not reflect in-progress courses. An official transcript will be required before you can report to duty.

    Your resume, supporting documents and responses to the online questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you meet eligibility and minimum qualification requirements. Veterans’ preference applies to all selections made under the Pathways authority in accordance with CFR, Part 302.

    Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards.  This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at:

    The ideal candidate for this internship is a degree seeking student who has completed the requirement for at least a bachelor’s degree with a major in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

    To qualify at the ZT-2 or GS-05 level:

    SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Applicants must possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZT-1 or GS-04 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

    • Assisting with collecting and sorting biological data for reports and studies;

    • Using laboratory equipment as found in limnological or oceanographic laboratory (e.g., plankton nets, microscopes for identification of plankton and benthos, fluorometers for pigment analysis, qPCR machines DNA and NRA, nutrient analyzers for nutrients, spectrophotometers dissolved organic matter, etc.)


    SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with major study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. At least 6 semester hours of courses must have been directly related to the position to be filled.


    COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: Combination of education and experience.

    Benefits and Other Info

    Agency Benefits:

    NOAA offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.  This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:

    Other Information:

    PROGRAM COMPLETION AND CONVERSION: For both Intern and Interns NTE, agencies have the discretion to consider interns for non-competitive conversion to term or permanent positions in the competitive services, provided that the intern have met all academic and Program requirements, and are within 120 days of academic program completion. There is no guarantee for conversion.

    To be eligible for conversion, an Intern or eligible Intern NTE must:
    • Be a United States citizen or national;
    • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Program while enrolled as a half-time or full-time degree or certificate seeking student;
    • Complete a course of academic study, within the preceding 120-day period, at a qualifying educational institution conferring a diploma, certificate or degree;
    • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which she or he will be converted;
    • Receive a favorable recommendation by an official of the agency or agencies in which she or he served; and
    • Meet agency-specific requirements, as specified in the Participant Agreement.

    NOAA participates in e-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:

    Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

    To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue.

    If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at or by phone at (866) 656-6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET

    For instructions on submitting your application in an alternate format, please contact the number listed in this vacancy announcement.

    Required Documents:

    • Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional  Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59.  Your resume must include information about your paid and nonpaid work experience related to this position including: job title, duration of employment (mm/dd/yy – mm/dd/yy), hours per week, duties and accomplishments, salary, and your education. For work in the Federal service, please include the grade level for the position/s. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire.

    • Proof of Enrollment in school or acceptance of enrollment stipulating that you are in good standing.

    • Education  If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a letter from your college or university with your graduation date. NOTE: Students who anticipate graduating within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement may apply with submitted unofficial transcripts and enrollment verification. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities: Must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website.  You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation by the closing date of the announcement will result in lost consideration.

    • Superior Academic Achievement  If claiming Superior Academic Achievement, you must submit a letter from the university/college with your class standing. It must be on the university/college letterhead OR a letter from the Scholastic Honor Society as proof of eligibility. 

    • If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your Member 4 DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service or other valid proof of eligibility (i.e., statement of service that shows service dates AND character of service). If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form. For more information on veterans' preference see

    • Active Duty Service Members You must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the announcement closes. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. If the appropriate information is not submitted to confirm the discharge status, dates of service, etc., you will not be considered for this job opportunity under Veteran Preference procedures. To gain access to your DD-214 online please visit

    Failure to provide all of the required documents as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

    Next Steps:

    You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at and clicking on “Track Your Online Application.” The four points of notification are:

    1. Application Received or Application Incomplete
    2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Not Met;
    3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Ineligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official); and
    4. Selected or Not Selected.

    By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

    You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans’ preference, disability, etc.).